Neuroblastoma is a highly metastatic cancer, and thus is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortalities in pediatric patients. More than 50% of NB cases exhibit 17q21-ter partial chromosomal gain, which is independently associated with poor survival, suggesting the clinical importance of genes at this locus in NB. IGF2BP1 is one such proto-oncogene located at 17q locus, and was found to be upregulated in patients with metastatic NBs. Here, utilizing multiple immunocompetent mouse models, along with our newly developed highly metastatic NB cell line, we demonstrate the role of IGF2BP1 in promoting NB metastasis. Importantly, we show the significance of small extracellular vesicles (EVs) in NB progression, and determine the pro-metastatic function of IGF2BP1 by regulating the NB-EV-protein cargo. Through unbiased proteomic analysis of EVs, we discovered two novel targets (SEMA3A and SHMT2) of IGF2BP1, and reveal the mechanism of IGF2BP1 in NB metastasis. We demonstrate that IGF2BP1 directly binds and governs the expression of SEMA3A/SHMT2 in NB cells, thereby modulating their protein levels in NB-EVs. IGF2BP1-affected levels of SEMA3A and SHMT2 in the EVs, regulate the formation of pro-metastatic microenvironment at potential metastatic organs. Finally, higher levels of SEMA3A/SHMT2 proteins in the EVs derived from NB-PDX models indicate the clinical significance of the two proteins and IGF2BP1-SEMA3A/SHMT2 axis in NB metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1571
Number of pages14
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 5 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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